Tag Archives: assisted suicide

Star Tribune: Assisted Suicide is an Idea That Loses Appeal as It Becomes Tangible

Source: Star-Tribune

By: Charles Camosy

March 15, 2016

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate’s Health, Human Services and Housing Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on a measure called the Minnesota Compassionate Care Act (SF 1880). This bill would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. Those patients would then have the option to ingest the drugs and kill themselves. SF 1880 is sponsored by a group of DFL legislators, led by Sen. Chris Eaton of Brooklyn Center, who claims that assisted suicide enjoys “overwhelming support” from the American public.

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The Tribune: Lawmakers Should Reject Assisted Suicide Proposals

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Source: The Tribune, Greeley and Weld County, CO

By: William Bolthouse

I have the privilege of serving poor and uninsured patients in my practice at the Inner City Health Center in Denver. Besides my medical education, one of the greatest assets I have in this important work is the trust I have with my patients. Legislation introduced in the Colorado State Legislature to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide undermines that trust. If this bill becomes law, it changes the relationship between doctor and patient from one of curing and caring, to something quite different.

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Pueblo Chieftain: I Choose to Live! The Case Against Assisted Suicide

heart monitor

Source:  The Pueblo Chieftain

By: Anita Cameron

Editor’s note: The Colorado General Assembly is considering House Bill 16-1054, which would allow assisted suicides in the state. According to Colorado’s legislative website: “The bill enacts the ‘Colorado End-of-life Options Act’ …, which authorizes an individual with a terminal illness to request, and the individual’s attending physician to prescribe to the individual, medication to hasten the individual’s death. To be qualified to request aid-in-dying medication, an individual must be a capable adult resident of Colorado who has a terminal illness and has voluntarily expressed the wish to receive a prescription for aid-in-dying medication by making two oral requests and a written request to his or her attending physician. An individual who requests aid-in-dying medication may rescind the request at any time, regardless of his or her mental state. The act outlines the responsibilities of the attending physician.”

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Legalizing Assisted Suicide Threatens People with Disabilities

Denver Post logo

By Carrie Ann Lucas

I am a disabled woman, a mother, an attorney and a business owner. I am a parent to four children with disabilities, two of whom are dependent on medical technology to live. I represent two organizations that exist to protect the rights and lives of disabled persons: Not Dead Yet and Disabled Parents’ Rights.

I am also strongly opposed to legalizing assisted suicide and the bills introduced in the Colorado legislature that would do so.

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Pundit: Assisted Suicide is not a Progressive Issue

Woman with arms raised celebrates her achievement and success in the sunshine even with her disabilities in a wheelchair.

Source: Pundit

By Matthew Jansen

The statistics from Oregon are clear: the people who have the “choice” of assisted dying are disproportionately white, wealthy and well-educated. Who pays the price for their choice?

So who wants assisted suicide?

In Oregon, the poster child for New Zealand advocates of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the statistics after 17 years of the Death With Dignity Act are emphatic[1]:

White                                                               97.1%
Bachelor degree or higher                               45.9%
Private medical insurance                                60.2%
Concerned about being “less able to
engage in activities making life enjoyable”       88.7%

That is, the people who are doing the choosing are disproportionately white, wealthy, and well-educated. Having had a good life they want control of how they would face a terminal illness.

Fair enough, you might think, but who pays the price for their ‘choice’?

People like 64-year-old Barbara Wagner, who received a letter from the Oregon state health insurer helpfully advising her that they wouldn’t pay for the chemotherapy drugs she needed, but they would pay $50 for her assisted suicide.[2]

And let’s not forget that the general suicide rate in Oregon has been increasing since 2000, and at last count was 41% above the United States average.[3] That’s a fair warning that when you assist suicide for one group, you are endorsing it as an appropriate response to suffering for everybody.

It is also disabled people who pay the price.  Not Dead Yet, an American disability rights group says: “In a society that prizes physical ability and stigmatizes impairments, it’s no surprise that previously able-bodied people may tend to equate disability with loss of dignity. This reflects the prevalent but insulting societal judgment that people who deal with incontinence and other losses in bodily function are lacking dignity.”[4]

David Seymour’s private members bill would allow terminally ill people and those with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” to ask a health professional to supply and/or administer a lethal dose of drugs.

What’s “grievous” and what’s “irremediable”?

Multiple sclerosis? Paraplegia? Autism? Impaired sight or hearing? Depression?

Such words matter supremely in this issue because it is, literally, a matter of life and death.

Assisted suicide advocates like to talk of ‘assisted dying’, ‘physician-assisted dying’ and ‘rational suicide’.

George Orwell warned us why they do this[5]:

political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

Exactly. The advocates do not want the public to have accurate mental pictures of the reality. That is why Mr Seymour’s bill would ensure that the actual cause of death is not recorded on the death certificate.

Last year the Scottish and UK parliaments rejected assisted suicide bills by large margins.  The Scottish select committee report, in particular, is a must-read overview of all the competing issues at stake.[6] (For the record, the committee had 5 SNP, 3 Labour and 1 Conservative members.)

The Guardian columnist Giles Fraser recently wrote “let us not pretend that this ‘personal choice’ is unaffected by wider economic realities.”[7]

“by eroding the long-term mutual obligations we have to each other, in sickness and in health, we have arrived at the existential equivalent of a zero-hours contract with life, a contract that can be terminated at will.”

Euthanasia and assisted suicide – or whatever your euphemism of choice – is not a progressive issue.


[1]https://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year17.pdf

[2] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=5517492

[3] http://www.oregon.gov/oha/amh/CSAC%20Meeting%20Shedule/Suicide-in-Oregon…

[4] http://www.coloradoindependent.com/151598/rights-group-assisted-suicide-…

[5] George Orwell, ‘Politics and the English Language’, Horizon, April 1946.

[6] http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_HealthandSportCommittee/Reports/her…

[7] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2015/aug/28/assisted-dyi…

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